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Preprints Guide Ask Us

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What is a preprint?


Preprints are manuscripts that have been posted online prior to undergoing peer-review and differ from published author manuscripts and published articles in this way. Most preprints are also submitted for traditional peer-review and publication in scholarly journals. Preprints are posted to preprint servers or repositories that are accessible to the public. It is important to note that content in a preprint may change upon peer-review.

Preprints are becoming more common for authors who want to share their research findings quickly and openly. Most authors release their pre-prints while their papers are going through the peer review stage to be subsequently published in a journal but doing so depends on the agreement you have with a publisher. Papers are reviewed by moderators, in contrast to peer review, then posted quickly for the public to access.

Some examples of commonly used preprint servers are arXiv, medRxiv, bioRxiv, and OSF Preprints.



  • Supports open, free, and early sharing of research results.
  • Research is disseminated quickly, whereas peer-review can take a long time to complete.
  • Researchers can gain credit early for their work and receive more citations.
  • The community can review and provide feedback on the works instantly, providing greater scrutiny on the author’s research findings.
  • Preprints may also provide a glimpse into research that did not work, which can enhance literature reviews.
  • Preprints are multilingual and diverse.


  • Preprints have not been peer reviewed.
  • Retracted articles may linger in a preprint repository.
  • Preprints should not be cited or quoted as if they have been through the peer-review process.
  • Some of the people commenting on the preprint may not be sufficiently well-informed to do so in a meaningful way.


Accessing Preprint Servers
Check out the OpenDOAR repository of preprint servers, hosted by Sherpa Romeo

Last modified on October 1, 2023 01:22